Seated Military Press

Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Seated barbell military press, seated bb military press
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Barbell
  • Muscles Targeted: Shoulders, traps, triceps
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 5-10 reps each
  • Variations: None
  • Alternative: Smith machine overhead press, handstand push-ups, machine shoulder press, dumbbell shoulder press

The seated military press is identical to the basic standing version, except that it is performed while sitting on a military press bench with the bar placed slightly behind your head. It is a much safer exercise for people with lower back issues and can be executed as part of your upper body, shoulder, or full body workout routine.

Seated Military Press Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Seated barbell military press, seated bb military press
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Barbell
  • Muscles Targeted: Shoulders, traps, triceps
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 5-10 reps each
  • Variations: None
  • Alternative: Smith machine overhead press, handstand push-ups, machine shoulder press, dumbbell shoulder press

How to do a Seated Military Press

Start the seated barbell military press by holding the bar using a wider-than-shoulder-width, pronated grip so that your upper arm makes an angle of 90-degrees with the forearm. Pick the barbell up and lift it over your head to the lockout position. Keep the weight slightly in front of the head or at your shoulder level. Slowly lower the bar until it touches your clavicle (collarbone), after which press it back to the initial position.

Seated Barbell Military Press Tips

  • Squeeze your core while pressing the barbell up and avoid leaning back excessively.
  • Stand straight and allow your elbows to slightly flare out at the top but keep them tucked in at the bottom of the movement.
  • Keep your chest up throughout the exercise, as it will give you more stability to perform the movement.
  • Resist the urge to look up, and instead, keep looking forward when doing the exercise.

Alternative Exercises

  • Smith Machine Overhead Press
  • Handstand Push-Ups
  • Machine Shoulder Press
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press

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